A library is more than a place to read. It’s a community hub that offers resources beyond a massive selection of books. The Lawrence Public Library is a cut above the rest. It’s been voted multiple times as one of the top libraries in the nation based on appearance and accessibility. Here are some extraordinary ways you can use your local library.
1) Record an album
The SOUND + VISION Studio is free to anyone over the age of 18 who also has a Lawrence Public Library card. You can record a song, start a podcast or film interviews. Just make sure to book ahead and bring a flash drive to save your masterpiece.
2) Learn your genealogy
Scour the LPL website for detailed resources to search for long lost family secrets. You can find census information, local history, military records, Native American census roles and much more. If you’re more of an interactive learner, stop by the Genealogy & Local History Drop-In for answers to your burning questions.
3) NamaStay Healthy
The library serves the community as an information hub for all things, including health resources. Beyond the many in-house and online materials they offer to search for answers yourself, they have the Health Spot, which is a partnership with Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The hospital hosts free screenings and events throughout the year. Check for the latest events HERE.
If you’re interested in yoga, there are free classes each month. All ages and skill levels are welcome. You just have to bring a mat. The next dates are February 13 and March 13.
4) Chef it up
Are your Lean Cuisines just not cutting it? Learn to cook a healthy meal for around $2 a serving with the “Just Cook” program every Tuesday at 6 pm. Local food pantry, Just Food, provides trained professionals to teach you how to cook. There are new recipes each week and the whole family is welcome. Registration is required for these free events.
5) Fight seasonal depression
According to the Mayo Clinic, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons due to lack of sunlight. The good news is that specialized lamps can mimic outdoor light to create a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases SAD symptoms.
The even BETTER news is that the library provides these lamps free of charge. There are four that can be used in the library and multiple others that can be checked out for home-use for two weeks at a time.
6) Craft mindfully
mind·ful·ness: the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
If you’re a crafty enlightened thinker, this class is for you. It’s a hands-on event where you meet other crafters to explore art as it relates to mindfulness and health. Registration is required, but the event itself is free and they have multiple dates to attend.
7) Get confidential help
Domestic violence and human trafficking are issues that affect everyone in our community. That is why trained advocates from the Willow Domestic Violence Center provide confidential visits every Thursday from 9 am to noon. These sessions detail the full range of crisis, advocacy, and support services offered locally.
You can also drop by on the third Friday of each month between 11 am to 2 pm for job search help, housing assistance, and SNAP enrollment.
8) Learn about drag culture
Deja’s Reading Rainbow presents a message of inclusivity for families. Dressed in drag, Ms. Deja reads short stories to kids and parents as a way to ignite positive dialogue about acceptance. Deja has also hosted Banned Books, Boas and Divas, an adult-only storytime that benefited the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library. There are currently no upcoming events, but you can check out LPL’s event page regularly to stay in the know.
9) Join a club
If you’re looking to make new friends or trying to find educational outlets for your child, the library is the perfect place to connect.
For adults, the Social Justice Book Club gets you thinking and talking about inequality in the nation. There are also nature, mystery and young adult book clubs.
For kids, the LEGO Club has a new theme every month so that children can expand upon their creativity and building skills. Tail-Wagging Readers gives new readers a chance to practice confidence by reading a story to a fuzzy friend from Loving Paws Animal Therapy. Learn about all the clubs HERE.
These are just a few offerings that the amazing Lawrence Public Library provides. For more information, head to their website.